Israeli parliament passes law to tighten control over East Jerusalem

The committee is only an advisory body but its decisions reflect the prevailing opinions in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party

Israel's lawmakers on Tuesday passed legislation requiring a two-thirds majority in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, for the country to abandon control over any part of Jerusalem in favor of a foreign country, the Haaretz newspaper reported.

Jerusalem's status is perhaps the most sensitive issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The bill has been backed by Israel's ruling right-wing coalition, with a 64-52 vote, which would seek to separate Palestinian districts from the jurisdiction of the current Jerusalem municipality.

"The new Jerusalem law is a race law; it's a law meant to cleanse Jerusalem of its Arab residents", Israeli legislator Esawi Freige said during the vote on the bill, according to Haaretz.

Israelis are thanking the United States President, Donald Trump, for declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel with a 4 story billboard in Jerusalem at the Friends of Zion Heritage Center. While numerous changes Trump has initiated toward Israel and Palestine have brought with them heavy support from the American Jewish population, a proposal to move the capital to Jerusalem does not.

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"His excellency [Mr Abbas] called on the worldwide community to take immediate action to stop this aggression that the members of the extremist government coalition are leading against Palestinian rights and global resolutions", the Palestinian News Agency Wafa reported.

Israel's Culture and Sport minister praised National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver for removing a reference to Palestinian "occupied territories" from the NBA's website. The document also recognized the decades-old Israeli stance on Jerusalem, which calls the city the "eternal capital" of the Jewish state.

The US president also said he meant to move the country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

A new Israeli bill aims to make it more hard to cede part of Jerusalem to the Palestinians, who want to make the eastern half of the disputed city the capital of an independent state, Haaretz newspaper reported.

Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in a move not recognised internationally.

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